If only having a merry Christmas came cheap… With December coming into full swing, it is easy to find yourself spending money in ways you have not anticipated. Gifts, family gatherings, parties and so much traveling – all of this will take center stage this month while quietly chipping away at your earnings. Very often though, what people do not consider (until it is too late) is the collective cost of being festive during the festive season. So, in the spirit of ensuring you spend your December period responsibly and not let January become “Januworry”, here are 5 great tips for saving money this festive season.
1. Prioritise your needs over your desires
Firstly, consider your average monthly expenses and ensure you do not deviate from essential payments. That new wrist watch might seem like a great reward this season, but it should not take priority over your electricity bill. You might be able to go without a few of your usual monthly purchases as December always finds a way to turn ordinary habits on their heads, but avoid the urge to put non-essentials above essentials.
2. Draw up a budget
No, not a rough two-minute thought session, but an actual, physically drawn out budget. Even better – keep it someplace where it will be a constant reminder. The temptation to deviate from your plans will be greater this month and you know what they say: out of sight is out of mind, so ensure that you constantly remind yourself of your financial goals and stick to them. You should also bear in mind that most salary payments are made earlier in the month of December. This might mean that you can enjoy your Christmas, but it also means January will be a dry month. While drawing up your budget, be sure to account for January as well.
3. Shop before the festivities
Contrary to popular opinion, most stores hike up their prices during the festive season. You would be wise to make the most of the sales that come before the weeks building up to Christmas. Again, make sure you’re buying essentials at a discount and not those needless two-for-one deals that catch your eye.
4. Shop after the festivities
Like the point mentioned above, stores bulk up on the items they sell during the Christmas period. This means that many items will be sold at a discount afterwards to clear out stock. You would be wise to put some money aside in order to take advantage of the reduced prices that will be offered. Whatever you do, try not to go grocery shopping during the Christmas season. You WILL find yourself spending more money when shopping for essentials in the days leading up to Christmas.
5. Know when to call it quits
Finding an excuse to indulge in treats like fast food, gifts and alcohol will be easy this month. After all: ke December boss. What is essential though, is knowing when to draw the line. One more tiny purchase is not enough of an excuse. The reality of this month is that you will be making a few dozen extra purchases that you would not have ordinarily made. Remember that budget we spoke about earlier? Stick to it and avoid convincing yourself that one more purchase won’t hurt. For those who are fully aware of their inner shopaholic, try to avoid the mall or looking at online deals.
We know that December is a great month, but it often leaves us with regrets when it comes to spending. However, be sure to follow these quick and easy tips for a happy festive period and a great start to the new year.